PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Outdoors

June 1, 2013

Chester Moore column: 2013 fishing predictions at mid year

PORT ARTHUR —     Back in January I made several predictions on the local fishing scene for 2013 and this week I thought it would be fun to see how they’re panning out.

    Prediction 1: It will take 8.5 pounds to win the summer long CCA STAR tournament in the flounder division. Last year a 7 pound, seven ounce fish took first place honors and CCA had the largest number of flounder ever entered in the tournament.

    We are right at four years since regulation changes were made that will allow many more flounder to reach maturity and that means those fish that were two years old in 2009 will be six years old and that is toward the end of their life cycle. The STAR tournament just started so it is too early to see if this one is on track but I know of several 8-10 pound flounder caught this spring.

    Prediction 2: Toledo Bend will produce a 14-pound bass this spring.

    I missed this one but not by much. Angler Casey Martin caught a 13.06-pounder that earned him a slot in the Sharelunker program. Toledo Bend has been tremendous for big bass this year.

     Prediction 3: Local bass anglers will greatly expand their horizons following the Bassmaster Elite Series coming to Orange March 14-17.

     I said anglers like Skeet Reese and Kevin VanDam fishing local waters, local anglers will become inspired and start fishing areas they have never targeted locally and using lures they rarely consider.

    This one has proven absolutely true as anglers are targeting areas in the Calcasieu River system they never considered before the Elite anglers fished the event and are also experimenting with a variety of lures not common in local waters.

    Prediction 4: This was more of an observation than a prediction but the reports coming in show a banner year for big trout in Sabine Lake and surrounding waters. I said someone will likely catch a 10-pounder this year and by year’s end we will all be bragging about the big trout caught this year.

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Outdoors
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    May 31, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Bank fishing good approach on catfish

     Summer is one of the best times to seek catfish in Southeast Texas and thankfully, for local anglers without a boat, there are catfish in just about every canal, drainage ditch and bayou in the area.
      Fishing from the bank has its disadvantages but there is a way around it. This involves making the fish come to you.
      European catfish and carp anglers who typically fish exclusively from the bank use a system called “ground baiting,” which involves putting chum out with the bait. They attach a small cylindrical device above their swivel, which holds chum and dispenses it as the water rushes by. The problem is these rigs are not readily available in our marketplace.
      However, with a little ingenuity, taking a 35-millimeter film canister, punching a hole in the bottom and on the lid and then punching more holes along the side can make a similar device. This acts as a perfect chumming device and is very inexpensive.
      Not everyone has film canisters these days so the softer plastic aspirin bottles will also get the job done.
      Rig this above your swivel and weight, and then fill it with your favorite chum. Now you will not only be chumming the area you fish in but also bringing fish directly to your bait.
      Any kind of chum will work, but a mixture I have had some success with was menhaden oil (available through many mail order offshore supply catalogs) mixed with soured milo. The oil creates a huge chum slick and when it mixes with the milo, the smell is almost unbearable, which means catfish love it. The best part is that a little bit goes a long way.
     Something else to consider is using jack mackerel as bait.
     This oily fish is available in larger supermarkets in a can for less than $1, and I can attest it will bring in fish. While fishing in the Gulf of Mexico and tagging sharks for the Mote Marine Laboratory, my partners and I were able to chum in and catch nearly 40 sharks while using less than two cans of the stuff. It is oily and stinks to high heaven, so catfish should love it.
      For anglers interested in using film canisters to chum their bait, something else to consider is the use of a popping cork. Even if your bait is on the bottom, you can rig a popping cork above it and attach a baited film canister below. This will allow you to do some extra chumming and use the cork to “pop” the chum out whenever you want to release more.
     Another great tip for land bound anglers is to use braided line. In talking with several anglers who pursue brackish blues from the bank, I have learned that loosing striking fish can be a problem.
      I am not sure as to the reason but a definitely solution is using a braided line because they have no stretch. When making long casts with monofilament from the bank you have the potential for lots of line stretch when can make a poor hookset.
     Sixty yards of line might have five or six feet of stretch and that is plenty for a big blue to undo. When using a braid like Fireline, Gorilla Braid or Spiderwire you can forego these problems and greatly enhance your chances of putting some catfish in the frying pan.
     (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on “Moore Outdoors” on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com and watch him Saturdays on GETV.org on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore”.)
     

    May 24, 2014

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    April 30, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: It's time for bowfishing

    April 26, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Whistlers, snook and ballyhoo, oh my!

    April 19, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Bank hot spots have great value

    April 12, 2014

  • Chester Moore column: Go deep, fish jigs to catch truly big bass

    April 5, 2014

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